Illinois Officials Recommend Review of Earthquake Insurance

February 18, 2010

Insurance regulators in Illinois are encouraging residents to review earthquake insurance policies after a small quake was recorded in the state recently.

The 3.8-magnitude earthquake surprised northern Illinoisans Feb. 10. It hit about 45 miles northwest of Chicago at 4 a.m.

Insurance Department Director Michael McRaith suggests reviewing coverage with brokers.

He says typical homeowners or rental policies don’t include coverage for earthquakes but it may be purchased.

Premiums may be costly. Consumers should ask what structures the policy covers and whether furnishings are included.

He says deductible payments also might be high.

McRaith suggests making an inventory of all personal property and keeping copies of insurance coverage in a safe place away from your residence.

The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) says that while rare, earthquakes occurring east of the Rocky Mountains are typically felt over a much broader region than those in the West. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area as much as ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the West Coast.

The ISGS said the Feb. 10 earthquake was felt in eight states and was reported by more than 10,000 people

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